We’re living in an age where increasing aspects of our comics heritage is being protected, with all manner of work coming back into print in fittingly deluxe packages. However, we can all think of great comics that will probably never be reprinted, for various obscure reasons. For example, all manner of great work published by Marvel and DC in the 1970s and ’80s will never see the light of day again due to lapsed licensing deals. Other titles, other creators, simply fall from fashion, to await rediscovery by another generation. Others still end up in complicated rights battles and litigation.
One field of comics-related work that seems to be just lost to the unrelenting march of time and progress is that of the pre-Internet fanzine. Many significant figures in comics history contributed text and art to this near-dead medium, and it’s hard to see any organization having the will to invest in researching, reprinting or digitizing this lost legacy.
Colin Smith is a blogger and the author of Sequart’s “Shameless? The Superhero Comics of Mark Millar,” and as a critic has written about comics for some of the United Kingdom’s top magazines. He has a secondary blog where he has been recently sharing some great art from old U.K. fanzines and convention booklets.
To see what Greg and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below …
Happy Father’s Day and welcome to What Are You Reading?, where each week we talk about what comics and other stuff have been on our reading piles. Today’s guests are two of the contributors to Skullkickers #18, which features several “Tavern Tales” short stories by different creative teams. Joining us today are Charles Soule of 27, Strange Attractors and Strongman fame, and Aubrey Sitterson, winner of the Skullkickers Tavern Tales Contest. He’s also the writer of Gear Monkey for Double Feature Comics and community manager for WWE Games.
To see what Charles, Aubrey and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
Comics | The Greenville County (South Carolina) Library has removed two copies of Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows’ Neonomicon from its shelves after a mother filed an official challenge to the collection’s sexual content. Carrie Gaske said that although her 14-year-old daughter found the horror book in the adult section, she thought “it looked like a children’s comic,” and would be fine for her to check out. Daughter Jennifer soon discovered Neonomicon wasn’t the “murder mystery comic book” her mother believed it to be. “It was good at first,” she said. “Then it got nasty.” How “nasty”? “The more into I got the more shocked I was, I really had no idea this type of material was allowed at a public library,” Carrie Gaske said. “I feel that has the same content of Hustler or Playboy or things like that. Maybe even worse.”
The library allows children age 13 and older to check out books from the adult section with their parents’ permission. The library system’s two copies of Neonomicon have been removed from circulation while a committee reviews the content. [WSPA.com]
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a splurge item.
If I had $15, I’d grab the latest Lio collection, Zombies Need Love Too. Cartoonist Mark Tatulli has one of the better newspaper comic strips going these days.
If I had $30, I’d nab what is clearly the book of the week, NonNonBa, the latest book from Shigeru Mizuki, author of Onward Toward Our Noble Deaths. NonNonBa aims more toward Mizuki’s traditional milieu of Japanese folklore and yokai monsters, though this book is more autobiographical in nature in that it deals with his relationship with his grandmother and how she instilled in him an interest in the spirit world. I’ve been anxiously awaiting this release.
My splurge for the week would likely be one of two books from First Second: Either Baby’s in Black, Arne Bellstorf’s fictionalized tale of the sadly doomed Beatle, Stuart Sutcliffe, or Mastering Comics, Jessica Abel and Matt Madden’s follow-up to their previous how-to textbook, Drawing Words, Writing Pictures.
Hello and welcome to a special holiday edition of What Are You Reading? Actually it’s just a normal edition of What Are You Reading?, because changing the font color to red and green, and adding twinkling lights around the border just made it harder to read.
Our special guest this week is Andy Khouri, associate editor over at ComicsAlliance, where he drops comic news and commentary on a daily basis.
To see what Andy and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
Even as Comic Book Resources reports the cancellation of Ghost Rider, a preview of Marvel’s February solicitations reveals Black Panther: The Most Dangerous Man Alive will end with Issue 529.
Spinning out of the publisher’s “Shadowland” event, the title launched in December 2010 as Black Panther: The Man Without Fear, picking up the issue numbering of the ending Daredevil as T’Challa became the new guardian of Hell’s Kitchen. The series was written by award-winning mystery author David Liss (A Conspiracy of Paper, The Ethical Assassin), joined by such artists as Francesco Francavilla, Shawn Martinbrough and Michael Avon Oeming.
The solicitation text for Issue 529 teases, “Kingpin vs. T’Challa in this status-quo changing series finale,” raising the possibility that Black Panther could relaunch, or revert to a previous title and numbering. However, October sales estimates place the series at about 18,000 copies, below Marvel’s traditional line of death, and less than the just-canceled X-23 and Ghost Rider.
Those titles join a rapidly growing list of recent Marvel cancellations that includes Alpha Flight, Victor Von Doom, Destroyers, Iron Man 2.0 and All-Winners Squad. In addition, PunisherMAX concludes in February with Issue 22.
Update (1:12 p.m. PT): Liss has commented on Twitter, writing, “Sadly the news is true. Our Black Panther run ends in February with #529. But keep reading until the end. It’s going to be a wild ride!”
Hey kids, it’s time once again for What Are You Reading?, a weekly look into the reading habits of your Robot 6 bloggers. This week our special guest is Rik Offenberger, comics journalist and public relations coordinator for Archie Comics.
To see what Rik and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
Clifford Meth passes along word that, because of family medical expenses, former Killraven and Black Panther writer Don McGregor has been forced to auction his collection of art from comics he wrote.
“I won’t allow art dealers to steal these from him,” Meth writes. “And I am not expert enough, despite the posturing, to know what these pieces are really worth. So here’s the deal: Some friends of mine and I are bidding on Don’s art while spreading the word far and wide. We are hoping you’ll beat our bids because we want Don to get top dollar.”
A rundown of the art, by such creators as Rich Buckler, Gene Colan and Marshall Rogers, can be found here. Bids are being accepted on McGregor’s Facebook page until “Don says, ‘I’ll take it!’” Meth also asks for any artists interested in helping to make “small drawings” of characters that McGregor worked on. “I’ll be the first bidder and I’ll bid generously… and I expect others to do the same.”
Today marks the release of Black Panther: The Man Without Fear 514, the second issue of writer David Liss‘ run documenting Black Panther’s effort to defend Hell’s Kitchen in Daredevil’s absence. In this email interview, Liss shares his appreciation of secret identities, as well as his interest in immigrant crime families and organizations, among other topics. As detailed by Marvel, this latest issue features: “Luke Cage guest stars as T’Challa’s new adventure in NYC continues! The former King of Wakanda has sworn to protect the mean streets of Hell’s Kitchen, and while battling the mob is one thing, how does he stop a killer targeting innocent people? It’s a deadly game of cat-and-mouse, as T’Challa hunts ruthless new crime lord Vlad the Impaler, while Vlad concocts a desperate and bloody scheme to entrap the mysterious new vigilante that’s ruining his plans.” My thanks to Marvel editor Bill Rosemann for the art he provided for us to share with Robot 6 readers.
Tim O’Shea: In taking an assignment placing the Black Panther in Hell’s Kitchen, what factors appealed to you most in taking the assignment?
David Liss: I loved the idea of taking a very powerful figure, stripping him of his abilities, and placing him in a new environment. Characters are most interesting when they face challenges and obstacles, and this seemed a great opportunity to take a headstrong, confident hero and put him in situations in which he would have to grow, adapt and be uncomfortable. Plus it’s Hell’s Kitchen, which means there will be lots of ass-kicking. I thought the concept rocked.
To see what Caanan and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below …
The answer to who will be the new Man Without Fear was answered this afternoon on G4′s Attack of the Show: “Fresh Ink” host Blair Butler announced that Marvel’s Daredevil will end in November with Issue 512 — of course, we already knew that — to be replaced with Black Panther: The Man Without Fear.
The title, which picks up in December with Issue 513, spins out of the “Shadowland” event, and finds Black Panther as the new guardian of Hell’s Kitchen, “living outside of his kingdom and rebuilding his life” without the aid of advanced Wakandan technology.
Black Panther is written by award-winning novelist David Liss, who penned last year’s Daring Mystery Comics 70th Anniversary Special for Marvel, and penciled by Francesco Francavilla (Zorro), who drew those “Man Without Fear” teasers.
Daredevil returned to its original numbering a year ago with Issue 500. The continuation of that numbering under the new name, a la Incredible Hercules, suggests we’ll see a return to plain ol’ Daredevil before too long. Meanwhile, the four-issue Daredevil: Reborn, by Andy Diggle and Davide Gianfelice, will launch in January.
Marvel’s Black Panther: Who Is the Black Panther? motion comic has mysteriously disappeared from iTunes, the PlayStation Network and other outlets after just three episodes. It’s also been removed from the motion comics section of the publisher’s website, which now only features listings for Iron Man: Extremis, Astonishing X-Men: Gifted and Spider-Woman.
Marvel declined comment. However, there’s speculation the company may not have had the rights to digitally distribute the 12-episode Who Is the Black Panther?, which was produced in partnership with BET Networks.
Announced in April 2008 as an animated adaptation of the story arc by Reginald Hudlin and John Romita Jr., Who Is the Black Panther? was set to debut on BET in early 2009. Despite boasting an all-star cast that includes Djimon Hounsou, Jill Scott, Kerry Washington, Alfre Woodard and Stan Lee, the series never aired on BET. It had its world premiere in January 2010 on Australia’s ABC 3.
The project had seemingly fallen off the map until last month, when Marvel announced the release of Who Is the Black Panther? as a motion comic under its Marvel Knights Animation banner. The series was heavily promoted online and with ads in Marvel comics.
The first episode debuted on June 23 on iTunes, Xbox LIVE, Microsoft Zune and the PlayStation Network, with new installments promised weekly. However, the fourth episode, which should’ve been released last Wednesday, never materialized.
Event books are made up of a variety of different ideas, marketing ploys and world-building plots, the semantics of which we could go on about for hours, but for right now, let’s look at three rather basic needs:
- A Major Villain: Sorry, Stilt-Man is not event book main operator. I’d say even Norman Osborn isn’t really Event Book Material either; in the Siege, this is really just Loki’s show with a lot of targets and threats under his puppet strings. The Red Skull, Doctor Doom, Magneto, people who only want the world, people who drink domination like fine wine on big gaudy thrones and are just clever enough to pose an incalculable threat.
- An Incalculable Threat: something on a scale so massive it should hurt our ears. Planets should be in danger, if not just our favorite one, Earth. All the dead that have ever died, rising up out of Hell to scourge the land, going back in time to ensure Hilter’s victory in World War II, alien invasion, this should effect everyone and their mother.
- Crossover Appeal: Teams and heroes from different titles banding together to fight a common enemy. It doesn’t matter how much the Hulk and Thing don’t get along, it’s the problem at hand that matters first and their solution should be a point of contention (or camaraderie) by the time this all is through.
See? Pretty simple stuff. Sure, there’s a lot more that goes into it but if you ensure these three basics of storytelling, fans will be more likely to stand up, take notice and, most important, check their wallets for the right amount of cash. You can tell us it’s going to be the Second Coming, but until the threat is unleashed by a class act villain that every mutant and their mother has to go handle, then we know who means business.
It’s this kind of blockbuster storytelling that makes me wonder where Doomwar #1 has been all my life. Don’t tell my husband, but I think it’s love at first issue.
SPOILERS: Yeah, we’re going to talk about Doomwar #1 here so please, give yourself the delicious joy that is Doctor Doom and go pick up the issue. For those of you who have, let’s read along!
Earlier today I mentioned that the first batch of downloadable content, or DLC, for Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 was due in the PS3 and Xbox 360 stores next week, and that two playable characters who would be available had yet to be revealed.
Today Marvel.com posted a video of one of those two characters — the Black Panther:
The leader of Wakanda joins Carnage, Psylocke and Cable as a part of the DLC due Nov. 5.